x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Game of Thrones: new characters and season three recap

New friends and foes; marrying the monster King Joffrey; dragons with minds of their own; and what went down last season.

Pedro Pascal as Prince Oberyn Martell and Idnira Varna as Ellaria Sand. Courtesy HBO
Pedro Pascal as Prince Oberyn Martell and Idnira Varna as Ellaria Sand. Courtesy HBO

New faces, new foes

Pedro Pascal as Prince Oberyn Martell – “The Red Viper” from Dorne, south of Westeros. Deeply passionate, dangerous and ravenous for vengeance for the murder of his sister, this Lannister-loather is the wild card of the new season.

Roger Ashton-Griffiths as Lord Mace Tyrell – A ponderous oaf, the father of Margaery Tyrell and Lord of High-garden. This stupid but kind man can still play power politics thanks to his endless supply of gold.

Mark Gatiss as Tycho Nestoris – The Lannisters will be hard-pressed to keep their kneecaps when this “collection agent” from The Iron Bank of Braavos demands back the fortune they owe.

Elisabeth Webster as Fat Walda Frey – Roose Bolton’s new bride. Walder Frey promises Roose his bride’s weight in silver if he will marry one of his granddaughters – so Roose picks the plumpest among them.

Deirdre Monaghan as Morag Craster – A Wildling who’s lukewarm-friendly to the Night’s Watch.

Yuri Kolokolnikov as Styr – A lieutenant of the King Beyond the Wall, this Wildling “Magnar” (Lord) is a deadly fighter who rules with an iron fist.

Indira Varma as Ellaria Sand – The paramour of Prince Oberyn and mother of his children.

Paola Dionisotti as Lady Anya Waynwood – The widowed “Lady of Ironoaks” and head of her house from The Vale.

Marrying the monster

No RSVP needed; you’re invited this season to witness the nuptials of the malevolent brat, King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson), to the kindly, wily Lady Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) in what may be the most grandiose, wildest scene ever.

“It’s the best fun to play such a hate-inspiring character,” says Gleeson. “Just to get the reaction out of someone is very satisfying. It’s nice to make people hate you.”

“The totality of [the wedding] is a massive scene which takes up about half the episode,” says the executive producer David Benioff.

What does the “bride” have to say about her big day? “I would find it very hard that I would have a wedding ceremony being replicated like that again in my career,” says Dormer.

Memo to Joffrey: Don’t pin your hopes on a long honeymoon.

Dragons make poor pets

Dany’s adorable little reptilian babies have become a handful. Having dragons in a non-dragon world can make a mama crazy, especially now that they’re huge and have deadly ideas of their own.

“They’re outgrowing the restrictions that she’s placing on them,” says the actress Emilia Clarke. “She’s always feared it – for goodness’ sake, they’re dragons! They’ve killed her enemies; what’s going to stop them from killing anyone?” Ser Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) says bluntly: “They’re dragons, Khaleesi … they can never be tamed.”

Season three in 17 easy pieces

Need a refresher? Here’s what went down last season

1 Samwell survives the White Walkers’ attack; pledges to warn the Seven Kingdoms.

2 Brienne escorts Jaime towards King’s Landing. Locke captures them, chops off Jaime’s sword hand.

3 Sansa confesses to “Queen of Thorns” Olenna that Joffrey’s a “monster”.

4 Tywin cuts his disgraced son Tyrion a break, appoints him Master of Coin for the realm.

5 Bran discovers that he’s a warg, able to enter the minds of animals.

6 The incestuous Craster is slain as Samwell flees with Gilly and her newborn boy.

7 Daenerys temporarily swaps a dragon for an army of 8,000 Unsullied slave soldiers, crisps the snarky slave master and frees the slaves.

8 Theon Greyjoy is tortured and castrated by the warped Ramsay Bolton. Ouch.

9 Tywin forces Tyrion to marry Sansa; Tyrion’s main squeeze Shae is not impressed.

10 Jon Snow struggles to win the Wildlings’ respect, beds the foxy Ygritte, then climbs The Wall with her.

11 Jaime leaps into a pit to rescue Brienne from a bear. Hearts flutter.

12 When a White Walker attacks, Samwell destroys it with a dragonglass dagger.

13 Daenerys takes a shine to Second Sons’ hottie lieutenant Daario in Yunkai. Ser Jorah is not impressed.

14 Little warrior girl Arya Stark is denied her reunion with mother Catelyn, brother Robb and his pregnant wife Talisa when Walder Frey’s men and Roose Bolton slaughter them.

15 Jaime and Brienne make it to King’s Landing; he hurries to his sister Cersei.

16 Love is fickle; Ygritte fires arrows into Jon after he seemingly deserts her, but he somehow escapes.

17 Across the Narrow Sea, the freed slaves of Yunkai hail Daenerys as “Mhysa” (Mother) – and add to her growing army – in her quest to reclaim the Iron Throne.